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|Clark vs. Vering is the new “Bout of the Week” on USA Wrestling Members-Only website|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
USA Wrestling has updated its new "Bout of the Week" which has been posted as a video file on-line on TheMat.com Audio/Video website .
The feature this week is the Jacob Clark vs. Brad Vering match at 84 kg/185 pounds at the 2006 U.S. National Championships in Las Vegas, Nev.
This match features a pair of wrestlers who have battled many times in major USA Wrestling events, often with a national title or U.S. World Team position at stake. The outcome of the contest changes from previous meetings in this showdown in Las Vegas.
Brad Vering has been one of the most consistent competitors on Greco-Roman Team USA in recent years. For the past four years, Vering has been the top-ranked American at his weight class, making each U.S. World or Olympic team, and has performed at a high level in international competition.
Vering worked his way up through the USA Wrestling system, competing at the national level while winning three state high school titles for Howell High School in Nebraska. Vering won three Junior National titles while in high school, including a double title (both freestyle and Greco-Roman) in 1996.
He was recruited to the Univ. of Nebraska, where he became a star on the Cornhusker team, competing for coach Tim Neumann. In 2000, as a junior, Vering won a NCAA Div. I national title. He was also an All-American during his sophomore and senior years.
It was at Nebraska that Vering took a step up in his Greco-Roman wrestling, training regularly with World and Olympic medalist Matt Lindland, who was coaching and training in Lincoln. While still a college student, Vering competed at the U.S. Nationals and World Team Trials on the senior level, placing as high as fifth on the national level.
After college, Vering made the move to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. to pursue an international career in Greco-Roman. He quickly moved up the rankings on the Senior level, placing second at the 2002 U.S. Nationals. Vering made his first U.S. World Team in 2002, capturing the World Team Trials by beating national champion Ethan Bosch in the finals. He went on to capture fifth at his first World Championships, held in Moscow, Russia in 2002.
Vering continued to control his weight class within the United States from that point forward, winning his first U.S. Nationals title in 2003 and capturing all of the national and U.S. Team Trials ever since.
On the international level, Vering added a second fifth-place finish at the World Championships in 2003. After qualifying for the 2004 Olympic Team, Vering was defeated in his first match at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece and did not advance to the medal rounds. He also competed at the 2005 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
He was a 2004 World Cup gold medalist, placed second in the 2003 Pan American Games and won a number of other international medals. Of the members of the U.S. national team, Vering is one of the most experienced and talented Greco-Roman athletes, a leader within the program.
Jacob Clark has also taken a step ahead of the rest of the field at 185 pounds in American Greco-Roman wrestling, earning the role of the top challenger to Vering within the nation.
Clark was a youth and high school wrestling champion in Minnesota, where he won two state titles for South St. Paul High School. Like Vering, Clark was very active in USA Wrestling programs, winning the Cadet Nationals and Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman, and taking second at the Junior Nationals in freestyle.
He went on to the Univ. of Minnesota, where he was on the team for one year. His next move within wrestling was to enter the U.S. Marine Corps, where he joined his older brother Joey on the U.S. Marines wrestling team.
Clark quickly became a successful Greco-Roman wrestler on the national level competing for the U.S. Marines. Clark placed fourth at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and won University Nationals titles in 2001 and 2003.
He placed third at the 2003 U.S. Nationals, then made his first championship finals appearance against Vering in the 2003 World Team Trials, losing in the best-of-three series. In 2004, it was Clark again who reached the finals at the U.S. Nationals and the Olympic Team Trials, losing to Vering in the championship round.
In 2005, Clark did not enter the U.S. Nationals. However, he did compete at the World Team Trials later that season and again made the finals, dropping the finals series to Vering.
Along the way, Clark won a number of Armed Forces titles and a bronze medal at the CISM World Military Championships. He also added medals at international competitions held in the United States and overseas.
Nobody was surprised in 2006 when both Vering and Clark again worked through the field at 185 pounds at the U.S. Nationals and were on center mat during the finals. This time, however, a different arm was raised at the end, as Clark emerged with a hard-fought 1-1, 2-1 victory. Clark was named Outstanding Wrestler in Greco-Roman for his efforts.
The U.S. World Team Trials are scheduled for May 27-28 in Sioux City, Iowa. Many expect to see another Clark vs. Vering battle, with the spot on the U.S. team once again up for grabs.
This popular feature will be changed on a regular basis, allowing members to enjoy many of the greatest matches in wrestling history.
Posted in the archive section of the Members Only web page is the Henry Cejudo vs. Matt Azevedo match at 55 kg/121 pounds at the 2006 U.S. National Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. Many other entertaining and historic matches are in the archive section for the Bout of the Week.